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2024 IDP Rookie Profile: Tyler Nubin, DB

Tyler Nubin has a strong chance to be DB1 in your rookie drafts. @Glosser13 gives you all the reasons why you want him on your IDP rosters.

The Player

  • Tyler Nubin
  • College: Minnesota
  • Height: 6’ 1”
  • Weight: 199 lbs.
  • Age: 22 (June 14, 2001)
  • Arm: 32”
  • Hand: 9”
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.40 (Unofficial Pro Day)

High School

Tyler Nubin comes from a football family; his father played football at Eastern Michigan, and his brother is a running back for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Tyler Nubin attended St Charles North High School in Illinois, where he played defensive back, wide receiver, and quarterback. He helped lead the team to their first-ever State Championship game appearance as a senior. He excelled on and off the field; he was named to academic all-conference teams three times during his high school career. Nubin also was named Courier-News Football Player of the Year after the 2018 season. He was ranked a four-star recruit by 247sports and the number eight player in Illinois.


Tyler Nubin played for five years at the University of Minnesota and saw action every season. The Gophers defensive back would see limited action as a true freshman and, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, would play only a seven-game season as a sophomore. Nubin improved significantly in his second season, averaging nearly six tackles per game while recording his first career interception.

Over the next three seasons, Tyler Nubin would prove how much of a baller he was. He racked up 160 tackles and 12 interceptions over those seasons while being a leader for the Minnesota defense. Nubin was named to multiple first and second-team all-American and all-conference teams during his time with the Gophers. He leaves the Minnesota football program as the school record holder with 13 interceptions while being named to four consecutive Academic all-Big Ten teams.



Tyler Nubin has the size and instincts to be a force on the football field. He brings energy to a defense, and his big play ability speaks for itself. In my research on the Minnesota defensive back, I’ve heard he is best suited for a deep safety role, evident from his 13 career interceptions. I’ve also read that where he’s at his best is as a box safety; 150+ tackles over his last three seasons surely helps that narrative. There’s a bit of a divide on where he’s at his “best,” which speaks to his versatility. The fact that he can be highly productive in multiple ways is a great sign of his potential usage in the NFL.

Made with

This is a fun play from the Minnesota Gophers’ safety. This is a beautifully designed blitz call by the defense; Nubin does his best not to give anything away as he lines up at least 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. He takes off and allows the defensive front to consume all the blockers for a free run at the quarterback. He uses proper technique to avoid committing a penalty while sacking the quarterback for a big loss. I love watching plays like this from a guy who makes such an impact as a deep defender. This keeps opposing offensive coordinators guessing and makes life difficult for them. There are some concerns with his burst and pursuit angles but plays like this can put those concerns to rest.

Ball Hawk

Tyler Nubin plays extremely intelligent football on the back end. The tape shows it clear as day; he routinely baits quarterbacks into making poor choices with the football. It’s nearly impossible to teach instincts, and Tyler Nubin needs little to no help in that area. He spent some time as a cornerback during the early part of his career, and while it wasn’t as successful as he would have liked it to be, he learned how to disguise coverages. It’s evident when you watch his play style that he understands route concepts and is quick to diagnose a play. He consistently puts himself in the best position to make a play on the football.

Made with

Now, I won’t sugarcoat it. When you watch a good number of Tyler Nubin’s interceptions over his career, you notice how poor the quarterback play in the Big-10 conference is. This doesn’t take anything away from him because he’s a very good player and deserves all the recognition he gets. The above play shows how many steps ahead of the quarterback he is at times.

The second angle view of this clip shows how beautifully executed this was. Nubin commits early to the go-route receiver to give the QB the illusion he was taking that away. The QB automatically assumes he has a one-on-one matchup with the slot receiver working a post. As soon as Nubin recognizes the quarterback’s eyes have shifted, he commits to taking away the post. He is in the perfect position to make an easy interception by undercutting the route without hesitation. This is a very smart player who gets it, and playing like this is all the proof you need.

Development Opportunities 

Man Coverage

I’m not a huge fan of Nubin when left in man coverage. By no means is it poor, but he will likely struggle at the pro level with some of the athletes he will be matched up against. He’s very capable of man coverage, but I don’t believe he will find instant success at the NFL level if left in scenarios where he’s stuck trying to stop some of the NFL’s more elite tight ends.

He’ll be an older rookie (23) with a wealth of experience and he’s proven how coachable he is over his college career. His speed was one of the biggest concerns when tasked with playing cornerback early in his career. At times, he struggled to make the appropriate adjustments needed as a man coverage defender. Tyler Nubin is an extremely smart football player, and despite not flashing top-end speed, he makes up for that in many other ways.

Landing Spot 

Tyler Nubin checks nearly all the boxes for me, and it would be surprising if he is still on the board when the third round of the NFL draft begins. He has all the tools to play significant snaps as a rookie if a team decides he is worthy of a starting role.

Three teams that make sense are the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, and Washington Commanders. There’s a chance he could also land in Tampa Bay to play alongside his former teammate Antoine Winfield Jr. All of these teams would offer an opportunity for him to see snaps early in his career. IDP managers could boost Nubin’s value quite a bit if he is drafted with an early day two pick by one of these franchises.

Fantasy Outlook 

There’s no doubt that Tyler Nubin will be one of the top defensive backs selected in rookie drafts this season. He posted an 89.2 overall grade and a 90.1 coverage grade, according to Pro Football Focus last season. He also allowed just two touchdowns while collecting five interceptions. His 39.6 passer rating allowed was T-34th among all safeties who played a minimum of 300 snaps. Tyler Nubin played 768 snaps in 2023, with over 400 coming in coverage. He will find a way on the field as a rookie, and if he’s drafted to the right scheme, he could be a reliable IDP early in his career, as we’ve seen in the past with rookie defensive backs. IDP managers should be excited about the possibility of drafting a player of his caliber.

The Wrap-up 

The narrative that you can stream defensive backs in fantasy football may be true to a degree, but the elite players aren’t nearly as replaceable as you may have been led to believe. The 2023 rookie DB class gave us three players who all scored 150+ fantasy points last season. Two of those three players eclipsed the 200+ fantasy point mark, proving that drafting DBs in your rookie drafts is a viable strategy. The ability to draft a highly productive rookie DB gives you as much of an advantage as any other position in IDP fantasy football.

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